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Brad Wilcox fireside to Alpine youth on Feb 6.


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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I only listened to a portion of Brad Wilcox’s talk, and only one time. But my recollection is that he spoke the above point in the context of temple ordinances, saying that women need no priesthood ordination to administer the ordinances of the temple. However, when I was called as a temple ordinance worker, I was ordained by a member of the temple presidency. Had that not happened, I could not administer the temple ordinances, even though I hold the priesthood. I don’t know what the procedure is for female temple ordinance workers (I suppose I should ask someone). But isn’t an ordination required for them as well? 

You were ordained and not just set apart?  What were you ordained to?

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26 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

I was unaware he apologized before this week.

From the Kutv link:

Quote

Weaver III acknowledged previous written apologies from Wilcox but said those apologies have fallen short so far. 

And there has been some people posting experiences from a number of years ago with him in the past elsewhere online, most along the line of even if he apologizes, nothing changes.

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Since someone asked, here are Debi Wilcox’s Facebook comments:

Seriously?! You sound like someone who would have been the first to hammer in the nails on Christ’s cross. I suggest you listen to the talk again in the spirit of humility and you might understand what was trying to be explained. He was NOT racist, or anti-feminism, or demeaning of other Christians, peoples etc. I thought he explained several issues in a very clear, tolerant and understanding manner and was trying to explain that there are reasons God reveals things in their time. The youth NEED some answers in this very contradictory, contentious world that make sense to them and I thought he did that in a brilliant manner. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has some truths that are not found elsewhere. Does that make other churches wrong? Of course not! We love and respect all cultures, people’s, nations and religions. There are great people everywhere. It is you that is small-minded and trying to stir up contention where no contention existed. People are making a HUGE mountain out of a molehill. 

She needs a thread ban or board suspension.  I’m thinking a week would do it.   Although I do like the nose on the chalkboard idea.  


In my best buffalo bill voice:

It puts the nose in the circle or it gets the hose again!

que “goodby horses” and get me some chapstick.  

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I have been thinking about the Levite analogy that is sometimes used to explain the Priesthood ban. I stand to be corrected but I think the Priesthood wasn't necessarily withheld from members of the other tribes. Several of the prophets we are familiar with were not from the tribe of Levi, yet they had the Priesthood. I see the Levites role more like a special  calling to officiate in the ordinances of the Temple, not because the other tribes were not eligible, similar to some members being called to positions in the church, not because the others without the callings are not elligible. Also, all the Israelites regardless of tribe could participate in the Temple ordinances. This was not the case for members of African descent from 1852 to 1978. They were declared ineligible to hold the Priesthood and receive ordinances of the Temple, for very strange, non scriptural reasons. When the Priesthood was restored, it was given to all men. In fact, several men of African descent received the Priesthood during when Joseph Smith was the prophet. All members could attend the Temple. So to suggest that somehow the ban on Priesthood and Temple ordinances was based on God's timeline does not appear to be based on scripture or revelation, because there was no restriction to begin with from God

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14 hours ago, kimpearson said:

Could you please explain in detail why you think this point is so important to make other than it wasn't a member of the 70, quorum of the 12 or the First Presidency.  Nobody has claimed that he was.  How does your point relate to the content of the talk?

It was offered at first as a simple correction that, with one or two exceptions,  instead of being accepted in the spirit offered was mocked, ridiculed and marginalized. It was met with absurd assertions that required further correction, such as “It’s a distinction without a difference” or “The difference between them is almost non-existent.” How would you expect a normal person to respond to such behavior?

You say that nobody has claimed Brother Wilcox was “a member of the 70, quorum of the 12 or the First Presidency.” Do you not understand that, by definition, to falsely call a man a General Authority and then to double down on it when corrected is tantamount to claiming that very thing? 
 

To me, the calling of General Authority is very sacred. I don’t like to see the definition of it blurred, so when I see it happening, I’m apt to speak up. 

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11 hours ago, juliann said:

He was using the old saw about women (he almost always says girls) having an innate worthiness that men don't come with. That is why they can do stuff in the temple that men need to be ordained for. I wouldn't compare this to Oaks at all. 

I don't know whether women have an innate worthiness exceeding that of men, but it does seem significant that men's priesthood is meaningless without women.  Why is that, and what does it mean?

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3 hours ago, LongJohn said:

I think the Priesthood wasn't necessarily withheld from members of the other tribes

My understanding is we think of at least a few of the prophets (major vs minor? how do we identify them as Melchizedek) as being of the Melchizedek priesthood and the others of the Levitical priesthood, which we say is the Aaronic Priesthood, but it doesn’t seem perfectly identical given Aaronic can only perform baptism, which are not temple ordinances…and you have an excellent point on both that and being able to participate in temple ordinances.  Very different than the full exclusion of modern era. 

 

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

men's priesthood is meaningless without women.  Why is that, and what does it mean?

And women’s priesthood whatever it is (delegated, innate, temple endowed) is meaningless without men and much more so it would seem, at least at this point. 
 

A man may be single and be able to perform the sacrament for other men and baptize with no women present. 
 

A woman cannot perform any of the usual temple ordinances performed by women if one of the temple presidency is not in the temple that day, whether or not she is married, whether or not the temple matron is there. 
 

There are solely female branches in Hong Kong that meet every day of the week to accommodate the many female workers who can’t get off on Sundays, but there is a branch President who oversees and performs the Sacrament for them (though iirc the women then pass it out.)

https://www.deseret.com/2014/4/11/20539188/lds-church-meetings-held-every-day-of-the-week-in-hong-kong

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/local/2017/12/24/mormon-congregations-in-hong-kong-unlike-any-others-theyre-virtually-all-women-and-they-dont-just-hold-services-on-sundays/

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

My understanding is we think of at least a few of the prophets (major vs minor? how do we identify them as Melchizedek) as being of the Melchizedek priesthood and the others of the Levitical priesthood, which we say is the Aaronic Priesthood, but it does n’t seem perfectly identical given Aaronic can only perform baptism, which are not temple ordinances…and you have an excellent point on both that and being able to participate in temple ordinances.  Very different than the full exclusion of modern era. 

 

How would someone not of the tribe of Levi qualify for the priesthood when the Old Testament says it was taken from all the other tribes?  And if just being a prophet somehow qualifies you to receive the priesthood, what about the women in the Bible that were prophets?  Wouldn't they qualify for the priesthood because they were prophets also?

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In all of this back and forth about this Fireside, I learned a new term that I want to check out with all of you. The term is "Mormon Exceptionalism." From the brief context I could not tell if it was being used positively or with some type of malice? It is using Mormon as an adjective as does this board and the MHA, so that probably is not an issue. What is your experience? Is the term "Mormon Exceptionalism" used by the faithful to indicate an attribute? Is it used sarcastically by those opposed? Both? Or.......? Thanks so much. Oh and the context was someone using the term to refer to several of Brad Wilcox's points in his talk. Is "Mormon Exceptionalism" a descriptor you would own?

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23 hours ago, california boy said:

How would someone not of the tribe of Levi qualify for the priesthood when the Old Testament says it was taken from all the other tribes?  And if just being a prophet somehow qualifies you to receive the priesthood, what about the women in the Bible that were prophets?  Wouldn't they qualify for the priesthood because they were prophets also?

"Prophet" is not a priesthood office.  Anyone can prophesy.

Fifteen men are prophets seers and revelators.  Not ordained offices.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I do not advocate for women being ordained, and I’m not interested in it from an “equality” point of view (I have always chaffed at the idea that what men have is the highest thing that women can aspire to, as if men set the standard for what we all should seek), but I agree that using “women don’t need the priesthood to go to the temple” to suggest that women are better off than men is just dumb.

I think that it’s interesting that women don’t need to be ordained to be endowed, and it can be fun to bring that up to men who believe that they are somehow superior because they hold the priesthood, but (to me anyway) it is not a consolation in any sense of the word.

Very true.

For many, the problem becomes an issue of access to ordinances (if a male priesthood holder isn't available), the types of callings women may hold and the level of decision making that accompanies the calling. In every case, whether requesting a calling, or a budget, or inviting a speaker etc, it always requires a male priesthood holder's approval. Obviously men are also supervised by male priesthood holders too but some males are the shot callers. No female is. That is a pretty massive disparity. So when Wilcox says women don't need the priesthood, he may be right in a sense, as long as a male is always present to guide them, delegate to them, and approve some of their ideas.

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13 hours ago, bluebell said:

Even the women would be able to tell!  Strong language indeed.

I was thinking: Brother Wilcox would say, "the girls." :) 

13 hours ago, bluebell said:

I'm not quite getting your point though.  Are you saying that BY wanted the church to allow people to preach false doctrine in formal settings, because they would know it was false doctrine so it wouldn't matter?

There's a difference between hearing things we don't agree with, and having church officers preach them over the pulpit to the youth.

No one "wants" false doctrine to be preached in any setting, let alone formal settings. I agree with Brigham Young that real false doctrine will "die on the vine," because the Saints will reject it (it doesn't sit well on the stomach, something doesn't seem right about it, etc., as BY said). This is the real reason why prophets can't lead astray (there were several discussions about this in Journal of Discourses). It isn't because God will have to smite or remove them; it's because each individual person has the light of Christ, the Holy Ghost, their own discernment, and their own agency. 

We have moved into a phase where some people want views they don't agree with to not be able to be said, ever, period, full stop. This includes areas where their own views aren't the official view of the Church, either. What I'm saying (and what Brigham Young was saying) is that we don't need to be paranoid or terrified of this. 

And, as far as what Brother Wilcox said over the pulpit, I think 90% of the reaction is how he said it, not the content itself at its core. I think the phrases "the blacks" and "the girls" is behind more of the outcry than the content of the message. He didn't teach anything that is "forbidden" by the priesthood essay, for example (no explanation of race based on the pre-existence). People might not care for him invoking the limitations of the Levitical priesthood, or God's timing in dispensatory priesthood, but what he taught wasn't actually false and out of line with the limited, correlated stance. It's just that some people don't want Church officers (or anyone else, for that matter) to attempt to explain the priesthood ban in any way other than by admitting that it was all a big racist mistake. Had he done that, the same outraged people would be dancing in the streets, even though that isn't the official stance of the Church, either. 

He didn't teach anything that is doctrinally out of line with women and the priesthood, either. What some people disliked was that they don't like these sorts of explanations. They would rather that Church officers forever throw up their hands and say "We don't know." 

He's on an island of his own with the "pretending" to do church, but I think this whole tempest (whether or not it's in a teapot remains to be seen) has been thought-provoking. I don't know anyone who thinks that non-Mormons aren't sincere in their worship, and he would be the first to say that that wasn't what he was saying (I think that people are reacting to the word "pretend" like they react to "the blacks" and "the girls"). I've thought of a an extreme: cargo cults. After World War 2, natives in Melanesian islands started religions that mimicked what they had observed from American soldiers. They built a religion around the goods and technology, and a messianical figure named "John Frum," who would return to give them the same goods (and in some versions, take them and subjugate the white Americans). In the religion, the belief is that it was the rituals the Americans performed that gave them the goods, so cargo cults elaborately "pretend" to be American GIs: makeshift airstrips, makeshift offices where people pass papers around, tin can radios, etc. They are quite literally "pretending" to be American GIs, believing that if they do what they did "good" enough, John Frum will return and give them the Western goods. They are sincere in their belief. From our perspective, is it a pejorative to say that they are "pretending" in their religion? I wouldn't make the leap and say that is exactly what non-Mormon Christians or non-Western religions are doing (he's on an island by himself with this), but it has caused me to think about it --- especially within the LDS and Catholic framework of the absolute necessity of priesthood authority. I think he was clumsy and unsavvy in how he went about it, and his "pretending" analogy, but what he was trying to teach was the absolute necessity of authority. 

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4 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Very true.

For many, the problem becomes an issue of access to ordinances (if a male priesthood holder isn't available), the types of callings women may hold and the level of decision making that accompanies the calling. In every case, whether requesting a calling, or a budget, or inviting a speaker etc, it always requires a male priesthood holder's approval. Obviously men are also supervised by male priesthood holders too but some males are the shot callers. No female is. That is a pretty massive disparity. So when Wilcox says women don't need the priesthood, he may be right in a sense, as long as a male is always present to guide them, delegate to them, and approve some of their ideas.

I can see why some women (and men) see it that way. 

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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I don't know whether women have an innate worthiness exceeding that of men, but it does seem significant that men's priesthood is meaningless without women.  Why is that, and what does it mean?

Like all gifts priesthood is meant to bless others and only when blessing others is the priesthood holder blessed. Certainly women are meant to be blessed through priesthood conferred to men, but the priesthood isn’t meaningless in situations lacking women. Consider as an example a sacrament meeting at a YM encampment. 

We teach that women in the church work through priesthood authority now. So would you consider women’s use of priesthood meaningless without men? 

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

especially within the LDS and Catholic framework of the absolute necessity of priesthood authority. I think he was clumsy and unsavvy in how he went about it, and his "pretending" analogy, but what he was trying to teach was the absolute necessity of authority. 

Thanks for your analysis. I would simply like to point something out that I think is often missed by my LDS friends in their generalizations about non-LDS Christians. In this case, what I am specifically speaking to is the huge diversity of beliefs about the priesthood, priesthood authority, and authority in general among non-LDS Christians. The variations in beliefs transcend the reductionist distinction between Protestants and Catholics/Orthodox. In the first place there are many non-LDS Christians who do not consider themselves either Protestant or Catholic/Orthodox. So in a simplistic delineation, they get lost between the cracks. They are a rapidly growing group, so the consideration of their beliefs is ever-increasingly important.

For example, for some years I was a professor and dean at a college that had a very large population of Messianic Jews. We had an undergraduate major in the subject. Some scoffed that our Messianic Jewish students were neither Christian nor Jews. So, my LDS friends are not the only ones often denied Christianity! This Messianic Jewish community is an oft-maligned group that is vibrant and alive and quite fervent in their beliefs. I had many of them in my homiletics classes. That was a first for me! 

There are wide variances in the core concept of the "priesthood of the believers." This is not a simple or united category either. There are very narrow categories of priesthood believers and some that are very expansive. All or most, carry some kind of authority, either administrative, spiritual, or both. Some sit in a circle in worship services to highlight their equality. Some worship is majority silent to diminish the professional revelation and accent the personal revelation. Of course revelation is a whole other category on which there is wide variation in belief. Some believe that preaching is a very specific gift of the Holy Spirit and that only those set apart with that gift have the authority to teach or preach. That is very different from LDS beliefs, isn't it? When I was ordained I was set aside by elders who laid hands on me granting me authority to use my gift of preaching and teaching in an authoritative sense within that specific group. Of course, other groups may or may not accept that authority as well.

Of course variation in belief does not require or indicate conflict. This Brad Wilcox phenomenon has perhaps highlighted the variance in beliefs among the LDS about certain issues. Most of the time, these variances simply are tolerated. Then, when occasions like this arise - something really stirs the pot, the varying beliefs among the LDS arise to the surface and may be debated, some rather vigorously. Some years ago, I observed this in the uproar over the concept of the "New Mormon History." Entire books were written on that subject. This forum is testimony to the diversity within the LDS church.

I Peter 2 and most of the book of Hebrews are interpreted with many variations among non-LDS Christians. The idea of a general and a specific priesthood is varied. Lutherans, Baptists, Brethren, The Society of Friends, Pentecostals all hold widely varying beliefs. It is evidence of the rich tapestry of the non-LDS Christian community, whose individual threads provide color and variability, just as does the rich diversity among my LDS friends. Thanks for reading this.

Edited by Navidad
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15 hours ago, Calm said:

But [the pre-existence] doesn’t define how it influences in general.  While some of the noble ones may be set apart to be born in the church in anticipation of them becoming leaders of the church, it is possible the majority are born in the church because God knew that was the only way we would come to him. Others didn’t need the head start we did. 

Certainly possible (and I agree --- I think that some advantageous "placements" are actually a help, and not a sign of divine favor or pre-existence valiance), but the "disavowal" of pre-existence explanations goes both ways, right? Your suggestion above is just as speculative (with no Church position) as the disfavored ones are (from a nailed down, non-speculation standpoint).

15 hours ago, Calm said:

And there is no reason to assume that hard circumstances are a punishment rather than a recognition by God they are made of strong stuff. And those born in the US around the 20th century needed to be coddled with freedom, wealth, etc because we would have spiritually wilted under the conditions much of the rest of humanity endures.

See above. 

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10 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Thanks for your analysis. I would simply like to point something out that I think is often missed by my LDS friends in their generalizations about non-LDS Christians. In this case, what I am specifically speaking to is the huge diversity of beliefs about the priesthood, priesthood authority, and authority in general among non-LDS Christians. The variations in beliefs transcend the reductionist distinction between Protestants and Catholics/Orthodox. In the first place there are many non-LDS Christians that do not consider themselves either Protestant or Catholic/Orthodox. So in a simplistic delineation, they get lost between the cracks. They are a rapidly growing group, so the consideration of their beliefs is ever-increasingly important.

For example, for some years I was a professor and dean at a college that had a very large population of Messianic Jews. We had an undergraduate major in the subject. Some scoffed that our Messianic Jewish students were neither Christian nor Jews. So, my LDS friends are not the only ones often denied Christianity! This Messianic Jewish community is an oft-maligned group that is vibrant and alive and quite fervent in their beliefs. I had many of them in my homiletics classes. That was a first for me!  There are wide variances in the core concept of the "priesthood of the believers." This is not a simple or united category either. There are very narrow categories of priesthood believers and some that are very expansive. All or most, carry some kind of authority, either administrative, spiritual, or both. Some sit in a circle in worship services to highlight their equality. Some worship is majority silent to diminish the professional revelation and accent the personal revelation. Of course revelation is a whole other category on which there is wide variation in belief. Some believe that preaching is a very specific gift of the Holy Spirit and that only those set apart with that gift have the authority to teach or preach. That is very different from LDS beliefs, isn't it? When I was ordained I was set aside by elders who laid hands on me granting me authority to use my gift of preaching and teaching in an authoritative sense.

Of course variation in belief does not require or indicate conflict. This Brad Wilcox phenomenon has perhaps highlighted the variance in beliefs among the LDS about certain issues. Most of the time, these variances simply are tolerated. Then, when occasions like this arise - something really stirs the pot, the varying beliefs among the LDS arise to the surface and may be debated, some rather vigorously. Some years ago, I observed this in the uproar over the concept of the "New Mormon History." Entire books were written on that subject. This forum is testimony to the diversity within the LDS church.

I Peter 2 and most of the book of Hebrews are interpreted with many variations among non-LDS Christians. The idea of a general and a specific priesthood is varied. Lutherans, Baptists, Brethren, The Society of Friends, Pentecostals all hold widely varying beliefs. It is evidence of the rich tapestry of the non-LDS Christian community, whose individual threads provide color and variability, just as does the rich diversity among my LDS friends. Thanks for reading this.

Point taken. Protestants are not monolithic in their views on priesthood (and many other things). 

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

I agree with Brigham Young that real false doctrine will "die on the vine," because the Saints will reject it (it doesn't sit well on the stomach, something doesn't seem right about it, etc., as BY said).

What are we to make of it, if/when the Church leaves Brother Wilcox in his calling and he continues to speak to congregations as a counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency --- without issuing a condemning statement? 

What should be read into that?

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